Unpackaged

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  • 2020

  • Communication
    Packaging

Designed By:

  • Michael McMahon

Commissioned By:

Unpackaged Eco

Designed In:

Australia

Unpackaged Eco is a brand of sustainable, closed-loop products that allows consumers to purchase everyday items that they can refill or return, online or in-store. The packaging is uniquely designed to be cleaned and refilled by consumers to eliminate single-use plastic once and for all.


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Mark Lobo Photography
Mark Lobo Photography
Mark Lobo Photography
Mark Lobo Photography
Mark Lobo Photography
Mark Lobo Photography
Mark Lobo Photography
  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • Unpackaged Eco is on a mission to eliminate plastic packaging from supermarket shelves. It aims to do so with a range of reusable products that can be returned or refilled to encourage a sustainable, circular economy. The brief was to design a bottle label for hand wash as the flagship product for the initial brand launch. The packaging was required to showcase the Unpackaged brand, story, product details and core purpose, as well as providing a clear mechanism for consumers to return or refill the product.

  • Three essential principles guided the development process: simplicity, effectiveness and practicality. Their accumulated value led directly to a sustainable and sensible creative solution. Removing non-essential information, reducing the brand story to a single compelling statistic and incorporating an iconographic symbol to convey immediate purpose. Simple. An informative call-to-action gives consumers a reason to refill or return their product sustainably. Effective. Rather than using labels that require coating and adhesives, screen-printing onto glass using single colour ink ensured durability, which fitted the long-term needs of a reusable item. Practical. Implementing these principles during each stage of development ensured the projects success.

  • The projects first aim was social; launch an everyday product into a circular system and kick-start a change in wasteful consumer behaviour. Its second was environmental; revolutionise the packaging sector by eradicating single-use plastic from the supply chain. A tough challenge, but one that could be met. Encasing the product in an uncomplicated aesthetic and using straightforward, clear visual language ensured the social aim was eventually achieved. The launch of the Unpackaged range would help reduce FMCG environmental impact, particularly single-use plastics, and provided a solid proof-of-concept for larger retailers to see the forward-thinking insight such a product embodies.

  • Taken at face-value this project is simply designing and marketing another hand wash, amongst the multitude already on offer in any supermarket, however, with one fundamental difference. True to the spirit of the brand it represents, this project is an attempt to "unpackage" the product. It aims to achieve a sustainable dream; effectively remove packaging from the product lifecycle. This requires not only a smart and novel system, but for consumers to understand and cooperate efficiently with that system. By returning or refilling the bottle, the nature of the package is fundamentally changed. Instead of a waste product that is disposed of, the consumer-product relationship is oriented to one of ownership, responsibility and care. By introducing an everyday product in a refillable and reusable package, consumers are prompted to contemplate their purchase habits. In effect helping the consumer to go beyond the short-term, immediate needs that the product fulfils, and to consider the long-term responsibilities to the environment that each purchase contributes towards. Working within existing processes, and utilising a circular system, Unpackaged Hand Wash seeks to make a sizable impact on the social, commercial and environmental context in which it lives.